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Study participant wears cap to measure brain activity

A functional near-infrared spectroscopy study of early intervention for children with autism

The aim of this study, funded through the Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (AutismCRC), is to determine whether the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), an early intervention program for preschool aged children with autism, affects developmental changes in brain activity. This study will be the first to evaluate the impact of the ESDM on brain activity in Australia. A secondary exploratory aim is to determine whether baseline brain activity measures can be used to identify groups of children most likely to respond to this intervention program. fNIRS is a safe and innovative method of measuring brain activity by projecting light from outside the head into the cerebral cortex, and then measuring the properties of the light that is reflected back. Since the light transmitters and receptors are both in a cap similar to those used for EEG, this provides a way of studying similar aspects of brain activity to those measured by fMRI, but without needing to be in an MRI scanner.

For more information about the Autism CRC, click here: http://www.autismcrc.com.au/